Customer Review

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant documentary of two women struggling to come to terms with their past, April 18, 2009
This review is from: Inheritance (DVD)
In director James Moll's "Inheritance", we are introduced to two women who have something in common - they are both connected to an infamous war criminal, Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow concentration camp during WW II, who was eventually hanged for war crimes.

Monika Hertwig was Amon Goeth's daughter and only child, though she never knew her father since she was born just before he was hanged. Despite this relative unfamiliarity with her own father, Hertwig is very much affected by his actions, carrying the burden of guilt all these years. Her most intense impression of him is Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of Amon in the movie "Schindler's List." When Hertwig sees an interview with Helen Jonas on television, a Jewish woman and former Plaszow inmate who had been a slave worker in Amon Goeth's household during the war, she decides to meet her to get a better understanding of who her father really was.

The documentary shows viewers these two women's journey - Hertwig from Germany and Jonas from New Jersey to the site of the Plaszow camp. Their meeting is poignant for all the raw emotions it stirs up in both women. Helen Jonas' anger and sorrow at what was done to her and other innocents is evident, but she also shows compassion towards Monika Hertwig who ironically appears to be the more vulnerable of the two, a rather bewildered expression on her face as she listens to Jonas' recounting the events of the past.

Both women are ultimately victims of a ruthless and merciless man, though they have been affected in different ways. Monika Hertwig is the daughter who struggles to understand what kind of man her father was and why he did what he did, carrying the burden of her father's sins. Helen Jonas not only suffered untold depravity during WW II, but continued to suffer through the years, struggling to come to terms with all the horrors she and others endured during those terrible times.

There are some extras on this DVD: a 5 min interview with the director and cinematographer, "Behind the Score" where the viewer gets a look at the actual recording of the score, a bio of the director etc.I would highly recommend this documentary to those who are interested in the Holocaust.
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Z Hayes
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Location: TX, USA

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